Discharge

Not long after my parents leave, nurse Lorraine appears to let me
know that my surgeon’s stuck in surgery at Addenbrookes and won’t be
able to return tonight to see me. His secretary says that he’s happy
for me to leave tonight and if I want to talk to him later I can ring
her up and arrange something. Seems fair. And I do want to leave
tonight, so I can hopefully get a decent night’s sleep if nothing else.
I feel fine and don’t think that another night in hospital will achieve
anything.

Lorraine had previously told me that it’s a good idea to have
someone staying with me for 24 hours after discharge, just in
case. The anaesthetic can still affect you even then. So my brother’s
going to stay overnight and Work From Home (TM) tomorrow to keep an
eye on me. I ring him and he says he’ll be over to pick me up in
about half an hour. Excellent.

I dress gingerly. Luckily I’m well practised in putting on socks
without bending over too much (for the last week I’ve been doing so
while flat on my back, at the suggestion of my physio).

In the bathroom to pack up my washbag, I look in the mirror. I’ve
been absent-mindedly scratching at what I thought was an insect bite
all day, but looking at it now I can see that it’s a square. Oh no
it’s not. It’s actually a big long tape-shaped thing across my face
from beneath my ear to my lips. Oh, and there’s another one on that
side. And, sigh, another two on the other side.

Looks like the tape they used during surgery to, I guess, hold on a
mask or something, has triggered my mysterious plaster allergy. When
the nurse arrives with my official discharge papers I mention it to
her. She tells me that next time I’ll have to say “no thick tape at
all” – the tape used for my dressing is fine. It’ll be string and
staples before long.

My brother turns up, surprised to find me quite so mobile. I say
goodbye to the nurses and head for reception to be formally chucked
out, my brother carrying my bag.

I leave hospital at about 6:30pm, 36 hours after I arrived, still
in one piece. Well, with some pieces in a bottle in my bag.

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